Aug 25, 2014

Food, Health & Money Connection

Wendell Berry is spot on in the book Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community when he writes about "The Food System."  This is a system I try to avoid when I can by making foods from scratch as well as buying locally (or growing my own food!)  Each point below builds on the previous one and I especially like points six and seven.  He observes:

The Food System is firmly grounded on the following principles:

1.  Food is important mainly as an article of international trade.

2.  It doesn't matter what happens to farmers.

3.  It doesn't matter what happens to the land.

4.  Agriculture has nothing to do with "the environment."

5.  There will always be plenty of food, for if farmers don't grow it from the soil, then scientists will invent it.

6.  There is no connection between food and health.  People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are healed by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.

7.  It follows that there is no connection between healing and health.  Hospitals customarily feed their patients poor-quality, awful-tasting, factory-made expensive food and keep them awake all night with various expensive attentions.  There is a connection between money and health.


It is my hope that by eating real food one baby step at a time, you will experience a positive connection between health and food (see #6).

Anyone who has stepped foot in a hospital can give a hearty Amen to #7, but even if you haven't, surely you can agree that there is a connection between money and health.

It does matter what happens to our land and our farmers.  Buy locally grown when you can.  Make plans to visit a farmers market soon.  And it is not too late to plant fall veggies!


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Aug 21, 2014

Fermenting Workshops: Kombucha and Veggies

Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic and detoxifying drink that can be found in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods and in some Krogers for about $3 a pint.  The good news is that you can make it in your kitchen for a fraction of the cost.  It is very simple to make.  I have posted directions in this space before.  However, I understand that some people want a helping hand fermenting their first time around.

Next Thursday, August 28 at 7pm, I will be hosting a kombucha workshop in my kitchen.  In order to raise funds to attend the annual conference for the Weston A. Price Foundation, I am charging $25 per person for this class.  You will go home with a SCOBY (starter).  If you would like for me to procure the other needed supplies for home brew, mention that when you email me to reserve your spot.

Next Saturday, August 30 at 7pm, I will be hosting a vegetable fermenting workshop in my kitchen.  You will taste everything I have fermented in my refrigerator: kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, relish, carrots, roasted peppers, cauliflower and my favorite... tomatoes!  You will go home with a jar that we make in class as well as the knowledge and power to ferment your own sauerkraut.  This class will also cost $25 per person, which will help offset the costs of the conference.

Both classes are limited to ten people.  Email to reserve your spot: luvmyhub AT  I live near Whole Foods (Rodney Parham/430) in Little Rock.  If you are interested in these classes but the dates do not work for you, email me and if enough interest, I will host other classes.

2 separate classes, $25 each
 - kombucha on Thursday, August 28 at 7pm
 - sauerkraut on Saturday, August 30 at 7pm

Happy fermenting!

PS - anyone else going to the conference in Indianapolis?  You can watch the promo video here.

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Aug 6, 2014

Vaccines Are Not Mandatory (though you may be bullied)

My oldest son was homeschooled until this year.  He will harken the halls of the fifth grade in public school on August 18.  Among the many forms that I filled out to get him registered for "real" school, one was the Immunization Exemption Packet.  Email for yours.

Though you may feel bullied to vaccinate, Arkansans may refuse vaccinations.  In fact, every state allows for exemptions --except West Virginia and Mississippi.  Arkansas allows for both religious exemption as well as philosophical exemptions.

Have you educated yourself about vaccines?  Here is a good place to start.  Please don't assume that our government has your best interest in mind.  Could it be that the Centers for Disease Control is in cahoots with Big Pharma?  Do your own research.  Don't turn a blind eye.  Take your health into your own hands.

For the longest time, when it came to vaccines I was like a toddler with my fingers stuck in my ears screaming, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"  I didn't want to know what the ill-effects of vaccines could be.  Partly, I was a tad bit lazy and didn't want to do my own research.  It was easier to trust someone else (doctors, government) who said vaccines were OK.  My husband and I vaccinated our eldest son until he was two.  That is about the time we started getting serious about healthy living.  That is when I stopped believing what "they" told me and when I started doing my own research.

There are some serious dangers associated with vaccines.  A friend and guest blogger recently wrote about the dangers of vaccines here.

If you were beginning to question the validity of vaccines and we could sit and chat some of the things I would tell you research are:

--Examine how the number of reported incidents of illnesses drastically reduced once running water and electricity were made widely available.  This decline in illness occurred BEFORE vaccines.  Most homes in America have electricity and running water.  Do we need so many vaccines?

--Many illnesses can be treated with proper nutrition and hygiene.  The movie Defiance is a story of 1,500 Belarussian Jews hiding in the forest during WWII.  I was so intrigued by the story line, I read the book.  Though the living conditions were not ideal, those who succumbed to illness were quarantined.  Some of the sickest were given the choicest foods.  None died because of illness (and they were on the run and in the woods for 2+ years.)  Many of those illnesses have vaccines today.

--Most of the recent outbreaks of pertussis (whopping cough) have been from people who have been vaccinated.  Just because you have a shot does not make you immune.

--I try to avoid toxins when and where I can.  The toxins that I interact with are first filtered through my skin, digestive or respiratory systems.  These are complex systems, which are made to filter out the bad.  Vaccines contain toxins (neurotoxic chemicals like mercury, aluminum, and formaldehyde).  These toxins are shot straight into the blood stream.  No chance for filtering.

--Please do your research on each illness and weigh the costs.  For example, what are the negative effects of chicken pox?  Itchiness, welts, discomfort, a week in bed?  Let's entertain the theory that autism and vaccines could be connected.  Is it worth putting a child on the autism spectrum for life because you don't want them to to be sick and uncomfortable for a week?  (By the way, if you know anyone with the chicken pox, I'd love to take my children to meet them and share germs.)

--Last but certainly not least, is the fact that aborted fetal cells are used to manufacture vaccines.

Here's an article that claims that God Does Not Support Vaccines.  I must admit, when a friend sent it to me, I almost didn't click on the link.  I was offended by the preposterous title (and I was already against vaccines).  The author writes from a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing perspective.  The tone is not my favorite.  But some interesting arguments are made.  The most interesting take away for me was the fact that fetal cells are are labeled as numbers.  So if you take the time to read the vaccine inserts (please do so), you won't read "dead babies were used in making this shot" you will read an ingredient such as "WI-38."  Read it the article for yourself.

Another article that took me three times to complete was this article written from a moral and historical perspective of vaccines.  Why three attempts?  It literally made me sick to my stomach to read about aborted baby organs being used to create vaccines.  I wept for the unborn and also the mothers who were tricked into thinking they were doing common good for aborting a precious baby.  The article is thorough and well written, probably one of the best I have read on the religious aspect of why vaccines are wrong.

In closing, I want to recognize that this is a free county and I am so thankful for my freedoms!  I am thankful that we can agree to disagree.  My desire is for you to do your own research.  Convince yourself.  If you choose to vaccinate your family, I will still be your friend.  If you choose to refuse vaccinations (or at very least, delay until you have more information!), ask for the exemption form (school or daycare) and email

Educate before you vaccinate,

Sarah The Healthy Home Economist recently posted The Myth of Mandatory School Vaccines.  I've been thinking I should post something and reading her post pushed me to publish.

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Soaked Oatmeal Cookies

What does it mean to "soak" oatmeal?

Soaking simply breaks down grains and makes nutrients more available and easier to digest.  

The recipe that follows is an adaptation of Lori's Brookies (breakfast cookies).  
In a large bowl, combine and soak overnight (at least 7 hours, up to 24):
2 cups whole wheat
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup yogurt, kefir or other acidic medium
1 cup melted butter or coconut oil

To make things go quickly in the morning, in another bowl combine:
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup dates or raisins (I like extruded dates)
1/4 cup craisins
3/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon each: salt, baking soda, and cinnamon

The next morning, add 3 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the soaked oats and wheat.  Then add the other pre-measured dry ingredients.
I think parchment paper helps make prettier cookies.  It definitely makes for easy clean up!

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 8 minutes, longer for larger cookies.


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Aug 3, 2014

Fall CSA by North Pulaski Farms (Certified Organic)

North Pulaski Farms is now enrolling for their fall Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  It runs for 10 weeks, beginning August 12.

Kelly, the owner/operator wrote me, "The cold weather this spring delayed many of our summer crops. Our okra, green beans, sweet corn and watermelons will be ripening during this program.  We are starting our lettuce and other fall greens seeds this week."

For the enrollment form and more details click here.  Learn more about the farm on their website.  -Julie

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